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  • Sapphire
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93 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 9, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On Sapphire, Ms. Marie delivers the goods expected by her loyal fan base. A perfect blend of sultry ballads, uptempo funk jams and down right 'feel good' music. The album features collaborations with R&B legend Smokey Robinson, west coast rapper Kurupt and a final duet with the late, great Rick James. The leadoff single, 'Ooo Wee' was co-produced by along with Cash Money co-CEO's Ronald and Bryan Willams. Universal. 2006.

Sapphire is the release that ought to earn the indomitable Teena Marie her Oprah moment: If ever there was a disc with the potential to puff up the egos of 50-year-old women, this is it. Marie, 50 herself, sounds as vital and vixenish as she did in the '80s, when her anguished plea to be her man's "Lovergirl" was all over the airwaves (check first single "Ooo Wee," and "Make it Hot," a scorcher with ample reserves of bounce). What's more, Lady Tee leaps fearlessly into uncharted stylistic territory. Kurupt shows up early on track three ("Baby Who's Is It") to ease a transition into hip-hop, but five songs later she dispenses with the gravel-voiced help and goes it alone: "Love is a Gangsta" is her love letter to the raw and the real, and in it she makes the class move of name-checking a fellow 50-ish badass, Pam Grier. On a rambling disc that would do her one-time partner Rick James proud--there is an unignorable element of superfreakishness to Sapphire that owes itself both to Marie's dramatic phrasing and her distinctive production--she also reaches back to her old-school R&B roots, enlisting the ever-sexy Smokey Robinson for the swivelly "Cruise Control" (and the less likable opener "God Has Created"). "Resilient," the closer, could have been the title of this disc--it has all the trappings of autobiography--but instead of running off with it, Marie mikes up her daughter, Alia Rose, for a duet. Don't count on Marie stepping aside to get all middle-aged-mother anytime soon, though. By the sound of Sapphire, she's just getting started. --Tammy La Gorce

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 9, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cash Money
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,532 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Timothy A. Dillinger on May 9, 2006
Format: Audio CD
There's much to be said for someone who's career spans 25 years...and is still considered to be "contemporary" in their genre. Teena Marie stands as an authentic artist whose music crosses several genres...She's a master of R&B, hip-hop and jazz, with obvious gospel influences. She graced us with "La Dona" in 2004, her first effort in 10 years...and a little more than 2 years later, we are given "Sapphire".

"Sapphire" contains a host of radio ready tracks...specifically the first single "Ooh Wee", which is already topping Urban AC radio. The first half of the album is a tour de force of the more commercial tracks, immaculately produced by Lady T herself. Two duets with Smokey Robinson, a brilliant collaboration with Kurupt ("Baby Whose Is It", which is my personal favorite from the first half of the album), and the club-ready "Make It Hot".

The second half of the album showcases Teena in the element she is most known for--the poetic romantic, whose words are carefully chosen and executed with precision. "Somebody Just Like You" is a direct nod to jazz chanteuse Marlena Shaw (the spoken monologue at the end is brilliant) and containts a guest appearance from Gerald Albright. "Romantica" and "You Blow Me Away" are very specific tributes to mentor Rick James. The instrumentation on these two tracks in particular is rich...and reminds one of what we deem as "classic" Teena...

The stand-out track on the whole album, however, is it's closer, the title track, "Resilient (Sapphire)", a chill-giving tribute to Hurricane Katrina victims and survivors. A duet with Teena's daughter Alia Rose, Teena proves what her fans have known for a long time...she is a genius. "Resilient" is simply arranged, but intricately. The harmonies are rich and full..and the sparse instrumentation forces the listener to focus on the lyricism that is second to none.

Once again, Teena delivers...and leaves us wondering what on earth she will give us next.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Swee2Swee on May 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Teena Marie singing ability brings joy to many of us who truly have enjoyed her great talentfor many years. Since purchasing this CD and listening, I'm not surprise yet I'm always grateful how she continues to give her listening audience her enless best.

From the first song on this CD singing with Smokey Robinson #1 "God Has Created" to song #16, a duet with her beautiful daughter Alia Rose "Resilient (Sapphire), has been in high rotation on all my CD players.

#2 "Cruise Control" with Smokey Robinson is a real treat. Upbeat and very smooth to the ears that also has a little swagger to it.

#10 "Somebody Just Like You" with Gerald Albright gives you that Teena Marie Irons In The Fire CD with a little rapping. You will find this song in high rotation.

#11 "You Blow Me Away" and it did. It brings you back to the Cassanova Brown days, need I say more.

#12 "Simmer Down" with Lady Levi, I almost lost control and forgot I was driving while listening to this song, it sound so awesome, it's upbeat with a very nice jam. Lady Levi brings that special something to Teena's song. She is also on Teena's LaDona CD.

#13 "Romantica" Brought me back to my senses, it is very smooth and causing memories of that special someone, but be careful, listening to this song, it is so beautiful that it leaves you motionless and you never want it to end. This is a song you wish could have been a mininal of 10 minutes long, if possible, longer. So beautiful!!!

"The way you love me" "Make It Hot" every song on this CD, will stay in rotation on you cd player.

Before LaDona (Also #1 CD), her listening and dedicated audiences have waited for her visibility and have since been more than please and so happy to see and hear her again.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Geminigirl on May 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
For all Teena Marie fans, this album is a must get. For those who expressed disappointment with LaDona, have no fear - although exec produced by the Cash Money people, SAPPHIRE from start to finish has more of the Lady Tee sound that we're used to. I was prepared to fall in love with 2 or 3 tracks and have the rest "grow" on me over time but happily (and truthfully) I can say that there is only 1 track that I feel really 'meh' about and it's BABY WHO'S IS IT.

I've said this in other reviews of Teena's albums but what I really respect, love & appreciate about her as an artist is that she successfully matches genres of music in all of her albums and doesn't really pander to what's "hot" in a specific era of music when she releases albums. She may mix elements like having a guest rapper, mixing reggae beats in with her music yet the sound is still signature Lady T.

My standout tracks are: GOD HAS CREATED & CRUISE CONTROL (her & Smokey's vocals sound great together); MAKE IT HOT; APB (love the guitar playing); YOU BLOW ME AWAY & ROMANTICA (both seem to be dedicated to Rick James); SIMMER DOWN (nice reggae beats) & the gorgeous, RESILIENT - sung with her daughter Alia Rose, who I agree with another poster reminds me very much of Stacy Lattisaw!

Overall fans WILL NOT be disappointed in purchasing this disc, it is classic Teena Marie!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bradly Briggs VINE VOICE on January 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Legendary Lady Tee is a magical musical wonder and "Sapphire" a satisfying electic collection of great songs that will be spinning around in your head long after its over, this is the real thing! Stunning work would have been received as equivalent to "Second-Coming" if done by a male artist, Teena in peak form is at the top of her game in a league all of her own when it comes to a great singer/songwriter making this collection of originals truly a masterpiece! Opening a hypnotic medley with fellow Motown legend Smokey Robinson, in better musical times than this bland and bleak musical period filled with promoted "singers" of no substance, "Cruise Control" should have been a blockbuster #1 hit, better than anything currently on the charts...what is wrong with radio programmers of America and how can they shamefully overlook something this great? Take the musical ride of a lifetime with a tremendous artist and be blown away by the sweeping deeply moving "Romantica" which has got to be the most moving performance by anyone in years, this is GRAMMY AWARD worthy..."You Blow Me Away" comes from the depths of Teena's soul & will blow away anyone who loves deeply soulful magnificent performances! Why are leaders of the music industry so far removed from the heart and soul of music that something this great is sadly overlooked...sad yet makes it easy to understand why the industry is falling apart with so many closures of major outlets such as Tower Records, Virgin Records and the list goes on. Thank you Teena Maria for this wondrous musical journey that is complete magic & the ultimate, shame on the music industy for not rising to the occasion of this amazing collection of great songs and amazing deeply soulful profoundly moving performances...Read more ›
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